Water/Wastewater Questions Answered 11.17.2023

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Water/Wastewater Questions

 The City recognizes that substantial improvements must be made to our water/wastewater system. The City has taken several actions over the past years towards that goal.


We maintain infrastructure for a population of 30,000 with a current population of 5,500. That translates to many miles of infrastructure. The following information was shared at our strategic planning community meeting:

80 miles of water mains at an approximate cost to replace of $1.19 million per mile = $95 million

45 miles of wastewater gravity mains at an approximate cost of $1.5 million per mile = $68 million

5 miles of wastewater force mains at an approximate cost of $.8 million per mile – $6.5 million

64 miles of streets at an approximate cost of $1 million per mile (engineered) = $64 million

Our infrastructure is aging – Most of the infrastructure was put in between 1920 – 1940 which means it is almost 100 years old.

Like many cities and the private sector since COVID we have struggled to maintain full staffing. The added challenge for the City has been the historically low pay.  

We don’t have good records of where our infrastructure is in the field.


(W/WW Bond improvement projects 2012, 2013, 2014, 2017A, 2017B)

TWDB 2022 A&B Low Interest Rate Loans/Loan Forgiveness loans – Approximately $7 million worth of Water Treatment Plant and Wastewater Treatment Plant improvements along with water and wastewater line replacements are currently in design and will be under construction in 2024.

Asset Management Program – Has been submitted and we should be notified in 2024 if we have been selected. (This will include a hydraulic water model of the city’s water distribution system).

Lead Service Line Replacement Program – Has been submitted and we should be receiving notification to apply soon.

The City initiated the sale of Certificates of Obligation for Street Improvements and will be investing $8.6 million over the next several years (Street Improvement Plan).

We are continually updating our GIS maps to identify (field) location(s) of our infrastructure.

The City has increased employee pay over the last two years. Now many of our departments are fully staffed.

The City has been implementing improved operational systems.

FM 3099 Utility Relocation Project

This is a project in advance of TXDOT’s project to straighten out the intersection at FM 3099 and Walker/Hwy. 180. The challenge is multiple utilities in limited Right of Way. During construction it was discovered that there is an old, capped water line out there in addition to the existing in-service line.

The final phase is where the contractors will connect the various customers to the newly relocated line. In preparation for this, staff worked with the contractors to do a ‘dry run’ where we identified the valves to shut off the water several weeks ago to ensure that when the time came to switch over to the newly relocated line we knew we could isolate and turn off the water. The dry run was successful.

Last week staff met with the contractor and engineers to plan out the final details of the switch over, which began on Tuesday, November 14, 2023. Staff notified expected impacted businesses on Monday, November 13, 2023. We expected that the approximate 12 connections would each take a minimum of 30 minutes but up to 4 hours and to go one by one down the line.

Unfortunately, after the work began, and the valves were turned off, we still had water flowing. Which was not the case during the dry run.  Since then, we have trouble-shot the area and so far, have narrowed it down to a few possibilities; faulty valves not fully closed allowing water to get through and we suspect the old, capped water line may not actually be capped after all and it may still be connected somewhere.

As of late afternoon, Nov. 16, the switch has occurred, and most customers have water. However, there are still a few that we are still troubleshooting to determine why. It may be a major air lock and crews are on-site this morning (Nov. 17) removing air lock to pressure up system and that should fully restore water to all customers. Removing the air lock was successful and as of approximately 10:30 am, Nov. 17, all customers were on the newly relocated water line with water. 

Texas Gas Line Hit April 2023

 The City did pursue a claim through administrative channels to hold TGS accountable and after submission, the claim was denied. The estimated cost to the city was approximately $15K.

Cost of water only estimated calculation: $.9808 per 1000 gal. 2 water towers at 250K gallons each total is approximately $250 per water tower x2 for this incident=$500. The rest of the cost was labor/materials.

To pursue legal challenges to TGS response would cost substantially more than $15K so the decision was made not to pursue legally.

Code Red Transition to HyperReach

Internal confusion at Code Red. They didn’t receive the cancellation notice that County sent well in advance to cancel (Aug. 23, 2023): 30 days prior to contract end (10.30.2023).

As of Nov. 16 we have received the data files, provided to HyperReach and are now up  and running with Hyper-Reach. We have posted a link to sign up on Face book. Here is the link again: Hyper-Reach Sign Up

The emergency notification system is one channel we use to communicate. We do have other channels including our website, facebook, media outlets. As I understand it, 20 years ago they used a route with emergency vehicle sirens. We initially got Code Red in 2017. Before Code Red is when the City used the route. We do have a fire siren on top of the Fire Station that we use. Should an emergency like a flood or tornado occur during the transition, we would implement the route with emergency vehicle sirens.

TCEQ Complaint #412876

 As of Nov. 16, we had not yet been notified of a complaint filed with TCEQ. After being made aware of the complaint, we contacted TCEQ and were advised of the complaint of a small water leak at W. 3rd Street and Height Cr. The repair was made Nov. 17 and we will notify TCEQ. 

Annual Water Audit Information on Water Loss 

ANNUAL Water Audit






Adj. Water Loss (gallons)






Adj. Total Cost Impact of Apparent and Real Losses







The City has made progress and improvements in reducing our annual water loss.



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